Friday, April 30, 2010

Getaway Day

So, today is packing day, and time to throw out all the stuff you thought was so important to keep two months ago. It is interesting what you collect over three months!

Last night, we went out for dinner, my birthday dinner no less, just six weeks late. We went to a place called the Waterfront, because naturally, it is on the water. While going out the door from Haggai, the volunteer co-ordinator mentioned that the restaurant has a "two for one" special. Sure enough they did, but only if you asked. Even when the bill came, you had to ask again, but with entres at $40, it was pretty easy to ask! It was easily the best fish dinner we have had for a long time, maybe ever - good service and a wonderful setting.

We leave at 6:00 tonight, get to Toronto around 4:00pm tomorrow. The travel is the most negative part of this whole experience, but I guess necesary.

Better go and get some of the goodbyes done.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Final Week

We are into our final week and headed out for a final Saturday morning breakfast at my favourite hangout, the Seawatch (Gannon's). To my chagrin it was closed - they are using it to shoot a movie. Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler are here doing a high budget comedy, but they are off my list of favourites.

So we ended up at Fred's, which is cheap (buy one, get one free), but you don't get the view that you get at the Seawatch. To make matters worse, we had invited a new couple here from Manitoba who just arrived Thursday, to join us. So my big buildup of the view, relaxed service, etc went down the drain.

The other picture shown here is Marlene and I and one of our favourite activities, sitting in the lobby to read the two local newspapers after dinner. The Honolulu paper was recently purchased by a Canadian newspaper guy from Vancouver by the name of Black - not Conrad!

We only have three days of work left, since we don't work the day before we leave (Friday). The Canadian couple who oversee the volunteer program and manage the building, are finishing up their five year committment and they leave June 5th, so there is much anticipation of who will replace them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ice Cream Party

One of the events when volunteers leave to go home, is to do something for the remaining volunteers. This week two couples from Saskatchewan left, and they treated us to an ice cream party around the pool after work. I have no idea what the grass skirt part was about, but if you want the ice cream, you go along. Parties like this are part of the reason that notwithstanding the physical work, very few leave having lost any weight.

Another change this week for me is that I lost my rotational duty and courier jobs. Our time is winding down, and I will spend part of my time doing work in the office until we leave. The joke always is that I must have really messed up, if I get sent to the office. Since I will be spending time with my old friend Nestor, I don't mind at all, but I did enjoy the courier (driving to the airport)assignment.

This is the first week of a new group of participants and it is always interesting to find out the backgrounds of these fellows. We always a good number of pastors, but the rest are as varied as there are occupations. Many call themselves businesspeople, but I never accept that explanation. While you don't want to appear noisy, businessman can mean anything, as can government worker. This week I met an interesting young fellow from Brazil, who works for a livestock tracibility company. We have a lawyer from India,a couple of University professors and the Resident Co-ordinator is a doctor (Pediatrition)from the Phillipines. A couple sessions back, we had a fellow who was going to be King of his tribe when he returned to Nigeria.

So we are into our final two weeks, and based on the warm weather that Ontario has experienced, my lawn will probably be needing me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Busy Week

Last Sunday, Easter Sunday, we went to Hope Chapel for their Easter service. Hope is an independent church started 28 years ago and the present Senior Pastor was one of the originals. They built a new complex about four years ago and the top picture shows the inside of the auditorium (and the Senior Pastor) and the second picture shows the courtyard last Sunday between the 1st and 2nd services. They have about 1/1,200 in attendance weekly. On a Friday night the crowd is quite young and the music is very loud. But they do pack them in and as you can see, the courtyard is a flurry of activity with food, refreshments and much visiting.

On Tuesday night we had Praise and Worship with our participants here at Haggai, and our chef, Dion, treated us to a barbecue dinner with mahi-mahi fish, fried shrimp and chicken. The sponsors for this session are here for the week, and are from Edmonton, so the evening had some Canadian flare, along with that of the 18 other countries represented by the participants.

Then on Thursday we had Convocation. The picture with Marlene and I shows Bernard, the Resident Co-ordinator for the current session. Bernard is a Baptist pastor from Kenya, and it is the 3rd time we have been here with him. He is a wonderful fellow, with a great sense of humour.

Today we went out to breakfast with some fellow volunteers to an old favourite hangout, the Tasty Crust. Afterwards, the guys left the women at Marlene's favourite store on the island, Ross'. We came home and left them to take the bus, so they could shop to their hearts content!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Wednesday Afternonn

My normal Wednesday afternoon consists of Rotary, followed by picking up a copy of USA Today. This week, with it being the 5th Wednesday of the month, there was no Rotary.

But a "workbee" was organised by the volunteers, for an employee here at the Mid Pacific Centre, Richard. Richard is the laundry guy here, and he, his wife and kids just purchased their 1st home. Richard is loved by all because he is such a happy, wonderful to be around, type of person.

Of course with some Baptists, we had to have food, so we had our lunch at the new home.

As you can see from the pictures, we packed up our work equipment and cleaned and painted for the afternoon. It was really quite enjoyable, mostly because you knew it was totally appreciated by Richard's family.

Our current session is now into it's last week. Convocation will be held next Thursday and it will be our last for this term.